Boston-based ianacare, which provides comprehensive, tech-enabled caregiver support through employers and health plans, has raised a $12.1M Series A investment led by Greycroft with participation from 8VC, SemperVirensVC, Able Partners, and Brown Alumni Group, along with follow-on investments from existing investors Slow, Founder Collective, Indicator Ventures, Entree Capital, Cue Ball, Service Provider Capital, and AARP. As part of the raise, Greycroft partner Ellie Wheeler will join the ianacare board to support this next phase of growth.
ianacare partners with employers and health plans to offer its cost-effective and scalable enterprise solution as a benefit to working caregivers. Launched in March 2021, the enterprise solution covers more than 400,000 lives through existing partnerships with employers like Anthem, Inc., the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. Looking ahead to 2022, ianacare is set to launch with some of the nation’s largest employers putting them on track to cover more than 1 million lives. This round of funding will enable the company to scale sales, the internal team, and operations needed to meet the rising demand of companies looking to support family caregivers in their workforce.
ianacare is the front door to all the layers of support needed for care happening in the home. The solution gives family caregivers the ability to communicate and coordinate care across a personal team of friends and family, as well as access expert content, navigate local resources, and connect with employee benefits already available to them. Additionally, the solution includes unlimited access to a caregiver coach and supportive community.
“There are so many activities built into the care plan that fall to family caregivers – like medication management, transportation to and from appointments, managing dietary needs, etc. Creating a true infrastructure of care in the home environment requires access, knowledge, and guidance,” says Steven Lee, ianacare’s COO and co-founder. “What we realized was that thousands of resources and services already exist, but they are highly fragmented and difficult to find. The power of technology allows us to bring large systems together, enable simpler connection and coordination, and deliver highly personalized experiences at scale.”
The scalability of the ianacare platform has remained a focus and will become increasingly important in order to meet the fundamental increase in care happening in the home, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there are 54 million family caregivers in the United States providing $470 billion worth of care annually. Working family caregivers spend an average of 25 hours a week caring for their loved one on top of their full-time jobs, and ultimately, the current lack of support and resources drives 32% of them to leave their job to care full time.
Jessica Kim, CEO and co-founder of ianacare, understands these statistics deeply as she made the difficult choice to leave her job in 2016 to care for her mom full time. “For far too long, caregiving has been treated as an individual issue, and we’ve asked people to make the choice to either work or care for their families. We cannot authentically discuss keeping women in leadership or the workforce at large without addressing their care needs,” says Kim.
The ranks of family caregivers is on pace to exceed 75 million Americans over the next ten years. Without proper support structures, we will see this have a tremendous impact on our healthcare system, our society and culture, and our workplace.
Today, caregiver support is the one of the most overlooked gaps in healthcare and employee benefits. 61% of caregivers are women, 40% are people of color, and 70% report clinical levels of depression. Employers who hope to address mental health challenges, adopt DE&I initiatives, and create return-to-work plans centered on flexibility must incorporate innovative programs that support caregivers in order to reach these goals. In a recent study of working family caregivers at Anthem conducted by Healthcore, those with access to ianacare’s platform reported an 83% increase in productivity, 30% decrease in stress and burden, and 96% reported feeling supported by their employer.
The funding will allow ianacare to onboard several new employer and healthcare partners in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the team plans to triple in size with open positions across Sales, Client Success, Marketing, and Product.